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CEPPA Talk (online) – Selim Berker (Harvard)

January 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Title: Is There Anti-Fittingness?”

Abstract: The permissible and the forbidden are privative opposites: each is a lack of the other. The good and the bad are, by contrast, polar opposites: badness is anti-goodness, not non-goodness. What about the fitting and the unfitting, the appropriate and the inappropriate, the apt and the inapt, the warranted and the unwarranted? Is unfittingness non-fittingness or anti-fittingness, inappropriateness non-appropriateness or anti-appropriateness? In this talk I will argue that each of these “aptic” categories—as I call them—stands in a privative rather than a polar relation to its opposite. More generally, there is no coherent notion of anti-fittingness, no inversely charged flipside to aptness, to be found. In order to establish these claims, a taxonomy of different types of oppositeness will be proposed, and several tests for distinguishing distinct varieties of opposites will be developed. What will emerge is a better appreciation of the structural characteristics of fittingness and the other aptic categories, as well as an argument for taking up the nature of oppositeness as a serious philosophical topic that is ripe for further exploration.

Location: Teams (online only)


January 18
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Justin Snedegar